After several years of effort to reduce their risk profile, Belfius hopes to finish paying off the heavy heritage from its past membership of the Dexia group “at the end of 2016”. This was announced by the bank insurer’s managers as part of the publication of Belfius’ annual results on Tuesday. This heritage is made up of three pillars: a portfolio of obligations, credit guarantees, and financing given to the residual Dexia group. For more than three years, Belfius has tried to reduce the risk of this portfolio “legacy” as much as possible, as cheaply as possible. It had a negative impact of around 118 million euros on the 2014 Belfius result, compared to a negative impact of 17 million euros in 2013.
The obligatory portfolio, which was 18.3 billion in 2011 and 12.4 billion in 2013, only cost 9.5 billion euros at the end of 2014. At the same time, the average quality of the credit in this portfolio has improved.
The credit guarantee portfolio cost 11.6 billion euros in 2011, and 6.8 billion in 2013. It represented 6.5 billion euros in 2014.
Finally, the financing accorded to Dexia by Belfius, which cost 56 billion in October 2011, 23 billion of which was not guaranteed, was reduced to 10.6 billion euros in 2014, and to almost nothing in February 2015.
“We want to go even further with the “derisking””, says the financial director of Belfius, Johan Vankelecom. He gave himself a delay of 18 months, until the end of 2016, for the group’s obligation and credit guarantee portfolio to become listed as a general risk in Belfius’ commercial activity. “Spring is here, and Summer is coming”, the financial director summed up.
Once this heavy heritage is paid up, Belfius can enter a new stage of existence. Several members of the coalition government have not hidden their desire for the bank to be privatised. It has been owned by the State since the end of 2011.